Articles on this Page
- 05/16/17--16:00: _2015 Ruby World Cup...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Shale licences for ...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Ondangwa bemoans sh...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Vehicle sales conti...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Namibian weaners in...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Real action on sexu...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Turkey detains doze...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _The dangers of Ondo...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Shot of the day
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Residents pin hopes...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Schools to open on ...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Mtambanengwe was a ...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _City Police reaches...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Stepping up to help...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _MTC regards its ser...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Questions surround ...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Shafudah warning si...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _LWF takes no stand ...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Dramatic twist in t...
- 05/16/17--16:00: _Tense standoff in O...
- 05/16/17--16:00: 2015 Ruby World Cup pools
- 05/16/17--16:00: Shale licences for Karoo
- 05/16/17--16:00: Ondangwa bemoans shelving of hospital project
- 05/16/17--16:00: Vehicle sales continue downward trend
- 05/16/17--16:00: Namibian weaners in demand in SA
- 05/16/17--16:00: Real action on sexual health
- 05/16/17--16:00: Turkey detains dozens in post-coup investigation
- 05/16/17--16:00: The dangers of Ondonga succession
- 05/16/17--16:00: Shot of the day
- 05/16/17--16:00: Residents pin hopes on cop shop
- 05/16/17--16:00: Schools to open on time
- 05/16/17--16:00: Mtambanengwe was a great judge
- 05/16/17--16:00: City Police reaches out to taxis
- 05/16/17--16:00: Stepping up to help the children
- 05/16/17--16:00: MTC regards its services as a bargain
- 05/16/17--16:00: Questions surround man's disappearance
- 05/16/17--16:00: Shafudah warning simply not enough
- 05/16/17--16:00: LWF takes no stand on genocide
- 05/16/17--16:00: Dramatic twist in teen rape case
- 05/16/17--16:00: Tense standoff in Ondonga
The five licence applications under review are for exploration in the semi-arid Karoo basin.
Environmentalists criticised plans to work in the sparsely populated region, known for its rugged scenery and home to rare species such as the mountain zebra and riverine rabbit.
Royal Dutch Shell, Falcon Oil and Gas and Bundu Gas & Oil are among five firms whose applications were being reviewed by the regulator, acting Petroleum Agency SA (PASA) Chief Executive Lindiwe Mekwe told Reuters.
PASA would make recommendations to Mineral Resources Minister Mosebenzi Zwane to decide on the licence awards.
“We anticipate that the minister will be in a position to make a determination during the second or third quarter,” Mekwe said.
“If the decision is made this year the exploration rights will be valid for a period of three years, exploration activities should commence within three years,” she said.
South Africa is seeking to replace its dwindling offshore gas reserves and reduce reliance on coal to fuel power plants.
Shell said last year its Karoo project could compete in its global shale gas and oil portfolio provided commercial terms were attractive. It had previously pulled back from the plans due to low energy prices and licence delays.
South Africa's recoverable gas reserves from onshore shale and offshore gas fields was estimated in 2015 at about 19.5-trillion cubic feet (TCF). Officials say it would take about a decade to significantly develop these gas resources.
Mekwe said Total had applied to renew its offshore exploration licence, but was not expected to drill in the next two years as the French firm continued engineering work for a drill ship to deal with rough sea conditions.
Sasol, Exxonmobil and Impact had received an upgrade in their technical co-operation permits, which entitle holders to conduct desktop studies, to offshore exploration licences, she added.
Mekwe called for more opportunities for black citizens to enter the oil and gas industry, expected to expand once a Mineral and Petroleum Resources Development Bill is finalised.
“PASA is indeed adding weight on black economic empowerment credentials,” Mekwe said.
The Ondangwa town council has expressed discontent with the shelving of the district hospital project in favour of a northern national referral hospital.
The referral hospital is to be built at either Ondangwa or Ongwediva, depending on which of the two towns donates land suitable for a health facility that will also be involved in academic training and research.
The planned hospital will be for referral patients from the northern regions of Oshana, Ohangwena, Omusati, Oshikoto, Kavango East, Kavango West, Kunene and Zambezi.
At a consultative meeting in Ongwediva on Thursday, the Ondangwa political and administrative officials said they were disillusioned by the health ministry's decision to shelve the Ondangwa hospital without citing Ondangwa as the only location of the referral hospital.
Minister Dr Bernard Haufiku convened the meeting to sell the idea of building a facility, like the Windhoek Central Hospital, in the Oshana Region to address the transportation of patients some 700 kilometres to Windhoek.
Haufiku said the Ondangwa district hospital construction project would be shelved, as it cannot run concurrently with the construction of the much-needed northern referral hospital, while the government is faced with an economic downturn.
The CEO of the Ondangwa Town Council, Ismael Namgongo, was the first to demand the referral hospital be built at Ondangwa following the shelving of the district health facility.
He said the land donated by his town council the past few years for the construction of the district hospital was also suitable for the construction of the planned referral hospital and it should be used for such a project.
He believes the shelving of the district hospital is demotivating to the people of Ondangwa, especially if the referral hospital will not be built there.
Speaking to Nampa shortly after the meeting, Ondangwa mayor Paavo Amwele said there is no need for the government to seek other land while his town has already made two separate areas available for the hospital project.
The majority of the meeting attendees agreed that independent geo-scientific consultants be hired to determine if the land in Ondangwa or that in Ongwediva is suitable for the establishment of a double storey referral hospital building.
The Ondangwa officials rejected such an approach.
The health ministry in 2015 approved the construction of the Ondangwa district hospital after the council of Ondangwa donated the land.
Namgongo told the meeting that a feasibility study had been conducted on that land but did not reveal the results.
“Vehicle sales have been contracting on a year on year basis since mid-2015 and year-to-date sales are well below the previous five years. The slowdown is evident in the passenger and commercial segments, the former having contracted 39.9% year-on-year/y while the latter is down by 34.1% year-on-year (y-o-y),” said IJG.
“The slow sales numbers in the medium and heavy commercial vehicles remain worrisome, as it indicates a lack of business confidence which may be due to either unwillingness or inability to invest into businesses,” IJG said.
On the vehicle marques that have been leading sales, Toyota and Volkswagen showed good performance, IJG said.
“Year to date Toyota and Volkswagen continue to hold their market share in the passenger vehicle market based on the number of new vehicles sold, claiming 32% and 31% of the market respectively. They were followed by Ford and Nissan at 5% each, while the rest of the passenger vehicle market was shared by several competitors.”
Toyota also remains the leader in light commercial vehicle sales with 49% of the market, followed by Nissan at 16%. Ford and Isuzu claimed 13% and 10% of the number of light commercial vehicles sold in 2017. Iveco is the leader of medium commercial vehicles with 29% of the market followed by Hino at 28%. In the heavy and extra heavy category, Mercedes and Scania have sold the most vehicles, claiming 26% of the market each.
Commenting on its prospects for the rest of the year, IJG said: “Slower economic growth means that consumers will have lower disposable incomes and many consumers have been reigning in their spending as a result. Furthermore, the Credit Agreement Act, which was implemented in August of 2016, prescribes a deposit of 10% on all vehicle loans and limits repayment periods to 54 months. This has reduced the number of people eligible for vehicle financing.”
The market for Namibian weaners in that country almost dropped to zero following the introduction of draconian import restrictions during the middle of last year.
The restrictions have been revised by the South African authorities but they still remain in force. The local agriculture sector has vowed to continue to challenge the restrictions.
Other livestock sectors have also performed well during the first quarter of this year. According to the Meat Board there was a 12.4% increase in the number of cattle marketed between January and March in 2016 compared to 2017. During the first quarter of this year, 73 569 cattle were marketed compared to the 64 421 cattle in 2016.
Higher rainfall, coupled with better rangeland conditions, are contributing factors to the increase of marketing stock, according to the Meat Board.
“Due to the high demand for weaners in the South African feedlot markets, 76% of the cattle marketed were live exports.”
However, a reduction in the number of cattle slaughtered at export abattoirs was observed on the slaughter market.
This trend spilled over into the first three months of the year as cattle slowly became available for slaughter. Only 1 093 cattle were slaughtered at Meatco and Brukkaros in January 2017.
“In general, cattle are mostly not market-ready in January and this constrains the supply to abattoirs; however, as soon as the cattle become ready, the supply gradually increases and slaughtering at the export abattoirs are expected to reach their peak from April,” the Meat Board further said in March.
With regards to weaners, 55 822 animals were marketed during the first quarter of this year compared to the 48 248 weaners in 2016.
This is an increase of 13.6%.
The board also said the weaner calf shortage and tightened supply in South Africa has created a demand for Namibian weaners.
This means that Namibian weaner producers are able to fetch better prices for their weaners which will subsequently increase their income and purchasing power. After the drought, South Africa received good rains which forced producers into herd rebuilding and this led to less South African weaners available for the feedlots.
Lower maize prices are another factor that contributed to the increase in the demand and subsequently, the price. Maize prices decreased by 22% during the reported period and as a result, feedlots are able to feed more weaners at a much lower cost.
There is an approximate N$8.58 average price difference between the average weaner price in Namibia and South Africa. It said that the promising outlook for maize prices at the backdrop of expected bumper crops is positive for the livestock feeding industry. This season's good rainfall has improved grazing conditions and will subsequently promote herd rebuilding, the Meat Board said.
In conclusion, the Meat Board said in an effort to lower production costs, Namibia will continue to pursue the restrictive export conditions that were implemented by South Africa at the World Trade Organisation.
The oversight visits and public hearings were undertaken with financial support from Sweden and Norway which are funding a SADC PF-led four-year Sexual and Reproductive Health, HIV and Aids governance project in seven SADC member states that include Zambia.
Implemented through and with national parliaments, the SADC PF project seeks to build the capacity of women members of parliament in particular, and that of parliaments in general, to advocate for universal access to SRHR, HIV and Aids governance-related services and commodities.
Recently, staff from SADC PF joined Zambian MPs when they conducted site visits to two health facilities and held public hearings with hundreds of citizens in Kitwe and Ndola over two days to assess Zambia's preparedness in terms of achieving Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 with a special focus on SRH. Overall, SDG 3 seeks to ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages.
The public hearings were the climax of an intense process of oversight which began much earlier with Zambia's Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services receiving presentations from non-governmental organisations, civil society organisations, faith-based organisations, community-based organisations and officials from the line ministries of health and education.
An assessment of the capacity of selected health facilities to provide SRH as it relates to family planning, antenatal services, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, safe abortion care, management of teenage pregnancies, prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections, screening for cervical cancer, among others, followed. The assessment was done at different levels of care facilities from the University Teaching Hospital – a tertiary health care facility - to the smallest clinic, which is a primary health care facility.
Dr Jonas Chanda chairs the Zambia's Parliamentary Committee on Health, Community Development and Social Services. He led a group of eight MPs during the public hearings and oversight visits, during which access by ordinary people to health facilities, services and commodities was a key issue.
In an interview, Dr Chanda said the site visits had exposed the need to revisit the basis for deployment of human resources for health.
“In Lusaka, for example, we visited a clinic in a densely populated compound called Kanyama with a catchment of about 200 000 people. Each day, between 35 and 40 women give birth there. This is a more than at the University Teaching Hospital. In fact , Kanyama has the highest number of deliveries in the country, yet it is a very small, first-level health facility,” Dr Chanda said.
The oversight visit to Kanyama revealed, also, that in spite of the high numbers of women giving birth there, there was a serious dearth of midwives and related services, which abound at the University Teaching Hospital.
“This means that a tertiary health facility is offering primary level services such as dispensing condoms, family planning tablets and seeing routine antenatal cases. This should happen at a primary health care facility like a clinic. Tertiary institutions must focus on specialised care,” he said.
He opined that this disparity could explain huge unmet SRH needs in Zambia. For example, the national uptake of contraceptives in Zambia is estimated at 45%.
Experts say there is a strong link between health and education. Official estimates in Zambia indicate that about 16 000 girls drop out of school due to pregnancy every year. Additionally, Zambia's demographic profile shows that young people aged below 35 make up to 60% of the population.
The MP said his committee had been looking at how best to support or collaborate with the Ministry of Education to deliver comprehensive sexuality education (CSE).
“As things stand, there is a gap. The Ministry of Education is offering theoretical CSE, but services and commodities for young people are few and far between or not easily accessible,” he said, adding that MPs would advocate, also, for the reduction of distances between were young people stay and attend school. This, after it emerged that in extreme cases, schools were up to 30 kilometres away from learners' homes.
His view was that oversight visits and public hearings had been “very educative and revealing” for MPs that undertook them. A medical doctor by profession, Dr Chanda said he was amazed to find that findings of a research that he conducted 20 years ago as a medical student on the referral system in Lusaka were as true now as they were 20 years ago. However the most revealing, for him, were the public hearings.
“The community members told us things. Talking about sex has been taboo for many years. It was amazing - for example in Masalala – to hear elderly people openly engaging in discussions on these issues. Things have changed.”
He was happy with the sheer numbers of people who thronged the public hearing venues, but said they were indicative of the paucity of SRH information and the people's willingness of learn more in this area.
“The enthusiasm by members of the public across age groups was amazing. In the past SRH topics would not have attracted so much attention. Maybe now it is because every Zambian has experienced what we are taking about. People have personalised SRH issues and are demanding action.”
Members of the public passionately spoke about a plethora of SRH issues during the public hearings. Issues that that they raised some that are not normally discussed openly in Zambia such as sex work, termination of pregnancy, sexual diversity, key population and conjugal visits for prisoners. They noticeably avoided family planning.
The doctor said this could be attributed to the fact that, since time out of mind, Zambians had tended to put a premium on large families, with some couples having been known to have up to 12 children. Myths still surround family planning methods, with some people associating them with cancer.
Other issues that people raised were poor access to health facilities, lack of privacy, hostile attitudes of some health staff, lack of abortion services, high school drop outs and pregnancy among girls, alcohol abuse, the effect of social media - especially as it relates to pornography, lack of cervical screening facilities, insufficient staff and misallocation of human and other resources for health.
Going forward, Dr Chanda said MPs would advocate for evidence-based planning to ensure that resources go where they are needed most.
At Masalala Clinic in Ndola, irate villagers complained bitterly to the MPs that they were being asked to pay 50 Kwacha (about US$5) to transport pregnant women on government ambulances. Dr Chanda said that was a case of corruption, which would be investigated.
“I am happy that the District Medical Officer was present when this was raised. He has to take it up. It could be happening in other places. We have to stop it.
“In a rural setting, 50 Kwacha is significant. That might be the reason why some people give birth at home or miss out on antenatal care.”
He said his committee would compile a detailed report after the public hearings and oversight visits and present it to parliament.
The committee would also engage the ministers and other senior officials of relevant line ministries to ensure implementation of recommendations.
*Moses Magadza is the Communications and Advocacy Specialist at SADC Parliamentary Forum.
Some 50000 people have been formally arrested in court cases targeting supporters of cleric Fethullah Gulen. President Tayyip Erdogan, who met his US counterpart Donald Trump in Washington on Tuesday, is seeking Gulen's extradition.
Arrest warrants were issued for 60 energy ministry-linked workers and 25 education ministry staff and some 40 have already been detained, state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Many of them had previously been dismissed from their posts.
Anadolu said the suspects were believed to have been users of Bylock, an encrypted messaging app the government says was used by Gulen's followers.
The arrest warrants came after a court on Monday jailed opposition newspaper Cumhuriyet's online editor pending trial on a charge of spreading terrorist propaganda, the paper said.
Editor Oguz Guven joined a dozen journalists from Cumhuriyet, long a pillar of the secularist establishment, who are already in jail facing sentences of up to 43 years in prison, accused of supporting Gulen's network.
Mass detentions were initially supported by many Turks and authorities say the measures are justified by the gravity of last July's attempted coup, in which rogue troops commandeered warplanes to bomb parliament and used tanks to kill 240 people.
But criticism has mounted as the arrests widened, with relatives of many of those detained or sacked denying their involvement in the coup and calling them victims of a purge.
A total of some 150 000 people, mainly civil servants, security personnel and academics have been suspended or sacked as part of a related crackdown.
"I fear for the Turkish people as they enter this new stage of authoritarianism," Gulen said in a Washington Post article published to coincide with Erdogan's White House meeting. He has denied any role in what he called the "deplorable coup attempt".
Erdogan accuses Gulen, a former ally of the Islamist-rooted ruling AK Party, of infiltrating Turkish institutions to establish a 'parallel state'.
In an article in Foreign Policy magazine calling for the cleric's extradition, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Gulen and his network represented a grave and imminent threat to Turkey’s national security and constitutional order.
Anadolu news agency said the investigation into Cumhuriyet's Guven was focused on a story referring to the death in a road accident of a state prosecutor handling a case targeting Gulen's network.
The headline said a "truck mowed down" the prosecutor who prepared the first indictment against the Gulenist Terror Organsation (FETO), as Ankara refers to Gulen's network. The cleric denies any involvement in the coup attempt.
Guven was initially detained on Friday on suspicion of trying to discredit those investigating Gulen's network and Anadolu said the court ruled that the headline was an allusion to what would happen to those who investigated Gulen.
Cumhuriyet said the Tweet with that headline was posted by mistake and was removed 55 seconds later and replaced with a new headline saying the prosecutor had "died awfully in a truck accident".
An indictment accusing the Cumhuriyet journalists previously jailed said the paper had been "taken over" by Gulen's network and used to "veil the actions of terrorist groups".
Turkey has closed more than 130 media outlets, raising concerns among Western allies about deteriorating rights and freedoms.
The embarrassing standoff, which has pitted some senior headmen against the royal family, has no end in sight. The homestead of King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas is believed to be under heavy security guard in light of reports that many are not happy with the alleged interference of the king's wife in the affairs of the traditional authority.
There are serious accusations against the king's wife Secilia and her children, including allegations that they have been grabbing land and allocating it to their people. She has also been accused of making decisions on behalf of the ailing king. What is clear is that the king's wife does not support Fillemon Shuumbwa, who was earlier named Ondonga heir-apparent, to take over the throne.
The bitter infighting over King Elifas' succession seemingly reached an all-time high, because of his frail condition and most recently failed urgent application in the High Court to have him mentally evaluated to see whether he was still of sound mind and fit to discharge the Ondonga kingdom's traditional responsibilities. This again highlights the desperate infighting among the Ondonga.
The once highly respected traditional authority is clearly in a mess now and it will take great effort for the kingdom to retain its credibility.
Those involved in the succession war have now resorted to unpublishable name-calling. This has escalated quickly and even innocent bystanders have been dragged through the mud.
The succession standoff in Ondonga is no longer a friendly rivalry. The impasse could lead to dangerous consequences, which peace-loving Namibians can ill-afford. Well-meaning Namibians should condemn the infighting rocking the Ondonga kingdom for the sake of the peace and stability of our country. We need serious intervention to stop this embarrassing skirmish from escalating any further.
One of the residents, Anastacia Rooi said there was a high crime rate in the area, and the presence of a police station will make a big difference.
“Many people are being robbed of their goods and many women are raped. The presence of the police will help to stop criminals from committing crime,” said Rooi.
Another resident, Johannes Itembu, said although he was excited about the new police station, he still had reservations about its impact on reducing crime and he urged police offers who will work at the station to assist the people when they need help.“It is still a brand new station but the reputation of the police in the country is bad. Their service is poor and they take too long to investigate cases.
Let us hope that this new station will also not earn a label of inadequacy,” said Itembu. The Otjomuise Police Station was officially opened last week. During the opening, Khomasdal constituency councillor Margaret Mensah-Williams said human trafficking is a huge issue in Namibia.
Mensah-Williams called on members of the public to report cases of human trafficking and gender-based violence. “Human trafficking is a huge concern in Namibia and people must speak out against it,” said Mensah-Williams. Police chief Sebastian Ndeitunga warned criminals not to commit crimes in the area.
“You should stop harassing our people in these river beds and streets,” warned Ndeitunga. A total of 101 police officers will be deployed at the Otjomuise Police Station where Inspector Rauha Ndahafa Hamunyela has been appointed as station commander. The facilities at the station include a fully equipped kitchen, a dining room, a doctor's consulting room, barracks with 44 rooms for police officers, and three-bedroom houses for the station commander, unit commander and deputy station commander. The police station also has two fuel tanks and fuel pumps for the fleet of nine vehicles.
It has holding cells for prisoners. Its construction started in September 2014 and was completed on 31 March this year.
Equally, school hostels for boarding learners will open on 29 May.
The ministry made this urgent announcement after “false information” was circulated in which education minister Katrina Hanse-Himarwa purportedly had announced that hostels would instead open on 11 June because the government is allegedly struggling with costs and would have to cut “too much from hostel schools”, especially at secondary schools.
This “false” information was circulated on www.edu.com.na which is a website of one of the educational institutions in Namibia.
It is, however, not the official website of the ministry, which is www.moe.gov.na.
“We understand the panic and confusion that this [false] message has caused and would like to assure all learners, parents, guardians, teachers and all stakeholders that the content is false and unfounded,” said the permanent secretary of the ministry, Sanet Steenkamp.
The false information resonated with the schooling community especially after public schools had been forcibly and abruptly closed three days earlier for the holidays on 21 April instead of 26 April presumably due to “administrative reasons”.
Maasdorp was paying tribute to Mtambanengwe who died last week in a Windhoek hospital after battling high blood pressure and diabetes for some years.
The Methodist Church was packed to the rafters and speaker after speaker spoke on the incorruptible honesty of the Zimbabwean-born Mtambanengwe.
Maasdorp said as a man, Mtambanengwe literally stood and walked tall and added that as a human, his influence on those around him was huge.
“As a jurist he was a giant. Judges must be courageous, they must be objective, they must be diligent, they must be just, they must have and show integrity always,” he said.
Chief Justice Peter Shivute remembered him as a great judge and a courageous lawyer, before extending his condolences to his family and the people of Zimbabwe.
The Zimbabwean Ambassador to Namibia, Rafina Chikava, said the two countries have lost a true freedom fighter who always believed in justice.
“He was a true soldier for both Zimbabwe and Namibia and the people of these two countries draw much from his humility and humbleness,” she said.
Victor Mtambanengwe, the son of the late judge, said his father had a way of bringing out the best in people.
“He had a way of making you look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself what am I doing with myself and is this really what I ought to be doing.
“He had a way of making you reflect on things that you may often overlook and nor consider as important,” he said.
According to him, his father was a loving man, very approachable, very humble and very kind.
He said he never raised his voice even if he was angry at something.
“He was never angry for long and soon after he had reprimanded you on whatever you may have done, you would be talking about something else,” the son remembered.
“Dad was a caring and a loving person. All his sisters and brothers would often come to him for advice and guidance. He never turned away anyone and was always there to sort out conflict and awkward situations.”
Mtambanengwe was born at the Old Umtali Mission in Eastern Rhodesia (today Mutare in Zimbabwe) on 9 December 1931.
He attended school at Mutambara Mission and Goromonzi School, after which he worked as teacher for one year at Old Umtali Mission.
From 1979 on he worked as a lawyer in independent Zimbabwe until 1986 when he was appointed as high court judge.
In 1994 he was appointed to the Namibian High Court. Mtambanengwe acted as chief justice of Namibia between 2003 and 2004.
He served as an acting judge of appeal of the Supreme Court before his retirement.
Mtambanengwe, who will be buried in Zimbabwe this Saturday, is survived by his wife and three sons.
Chief of City Police Abraham Kanime told about 150 taxi drivers at its headquarters this past weekend that for the past years, the City had made decisions on public transport signs and taxi ranks without consulting taxi drivers.
“You are equally important as you keep mobility in the city, therefore we need to form a close relationship rather than seeing each other as opponents,” said Kanime.
He emphasised that instead of blaming each other as taxi drivers and police officers in terms of issuing tickets at wrong junctions where drivers feel there is need of a taxi rank, this should rather be solved amicably.
He, however, called on taxi drivers to voluntarily obey the law, as it does not belong to police officers.
Kanime said complaints were received from the public of some police officers who treat drivers the way they want and those that speak on the phone and park at road junctions. “No one is above the law, should it be a police officer or not,” said Kanime.
He indicated that currently there are about 53 000 warrants of arrest tickets of which 15 000 are for taxi drivers who make up only 2 to 3% of the total number of vehicles in the city.
Kanime disclosed that there are regulations being amended to enable a conducive and smooth environment for both taxi drivers and other road users, hence the need for drivers' input.
Currently there are about 12 841 registered taxis in Windhoek of which 1 055 are de-registered.
!Nanuses says her drive to help vulnerable children can be traced back to when she realised how many babies are dumped by desperate mothers, who feel unable to care for their offspring.
“I felt I wanted to extend a helping hand to children in low-income areas, so that mothers don't feel they need to dump their children,” she told Namibian Sun.
She said due to limited funding currently, she is able to provide meals twice a week, to between 70 children and up to more than 200, assisted by four volunteers. Donor funds are limited, and often !Nanuses has to dip into her own pocket to buy food and drinks to supply to the children, including providing the cooking utensils needed to prepare large amounts of food.
She said on average, she spends around N$10 000 a month for the operation, and her attempts to secure more funding continues.
She admitted that the fact that the soup kitchen is not registered, made it difficult for some companies to provide funding. Nevertheless, at least four companies regularly provide funding, she said.
Critical community service
Meals consist of 'pap en vleis' or meat with rice. Children are also provided with cookies and cool drinks.
!Nanuses added that in addition to meals, she sometimes assists with clothing, especially during winter when warm clothes and bedding become critical needs.
Her18-year-old son, Hannes !Nanuseb told Namibian Sun that his mother's efforts have taught him self-discipline, respect and humility. “I see what she does, and I learn from it.”
!Nanuses said she hoped her three biological children have learnt the value of cooperation with members of the community, and how to show love and empathy for others.
A local pastor, Lena Gaeses, told Namibian Sun that the soup kitchen provides a critical service to the surrounding community, and additional funding from sponsors is high on the list of priorities.
“For the children who benefit from this, they know that there is someone out there who cares for them.
We are very grateful for this woman. She is very generous,” she said.
The pastor said she has seen !Nanuses pay for food and clothing to assist children, but warned that this was not sustainable. “She needs more sponsors.”
For several years, since she opened her first soup kitchen in Outjo in 2013, !Nanuses has worked towards opening a permanent shelter for orphaned children, for which she has chosen the name Obama Baby Place of Safety.
Last year, a plea to the Otjiwarongo Municipality to provide land for a residential childcare centre was declined, on the basis that no plots were available, a letter from the municipality showed.
However, !Nanuses last week said that she has been in contact with a company that has pledged to donate a piece of land to her shelter, on a new plot within the informal settlement. Her application to the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare to register the childcare facility is still being processed, she said. !Nanuses told Namibian Sun that there is a desperate need for a shelter for orphaned and vulnerable children in Otjiwarongo, and that she hopes to be able to open a place to house at least 49 children on a permanent basis in the near future. She said her plans include providing the children at the shelter with skills development as well as offering educational input.
Although Otjiwarongo is home to organisations that attend to needy, vulnerable children, she said, “more help is necessary.
“Many children in this area still go to bed hungry.”
This is mainly reflected in comparisons it has made to similarly sized mobile operators on the continent and unnamed South African mobile operators, Namibian Sun has established.
While it has announced a 7% increase in the prices of its pre-paid and post-paid packages, MTC believes that it can still brag that its prices compare well to that of two unnamed South African operators that it has benchmarked itself against.
A comparative list compiled by MTC and seen by Namibian Sun seems to indicate that Namibians may be getting their money's worth. Comparing its Mobiz 300 package to similarly priced packages, MTC subscribers pay N$269 and get 300 voice minutes, 300 text messages to send and 300 megabytes of data while subscribers in South Africans pay N$209 on one package and get 75 voice minutes, 200 text messages and 200 megabytes of data on a monthly basis.
Regarding the second unnamed South African operator known to Namibian Sun, subscribers pay N$179 per month on this package while enjoying the benefit of 100 voice minutes, 1 500 text messages and 150 megabytes of data.
MTC has announced that it will be increasing its prepaid subscription fees by 7%, effective 1 June 2017, for its Aweh, Happy Hour and NetMan Instant bundles, while adjustments to its post-paid and other bundles will only be felt on 1 July 2017.
Motivating the rationale behind the price increase, MTC executive Tim Ekandjo said: “MTC has not had any price increases in the last 11 years despite rising operational cost. During this period MTC maintained its operations which were aimed at increasing efficiencies and ensuring excellent products and service to its customers.”
According to him, the price adjustment was being made at an opportune time.
“This exercise done amidst the challenging environment in which MTC operates in, coupled by reduction in mobile termination rates, increased costs of network investment, has necessitated a review of pricing,” Ekandjo said.
“We nevertheless promise our customers to keep providing the world-class products and services that they are accustomed to.”
The cheapest pre-paid package, Oka, will increase by N$1 to N$7 excluding tax, while the popular Aweh Prime and Aweh Super will increase to N$32 and N$53 respectively.
The 1 Day, 3 Day and 7 Day NetMan bundles will increase to N$31, N$85 and N$159 respectively, effective 1 June 2017.
It is alleged that Aktofeli Jason Shipanga woke up in the early morning hours of 2 April at the farm Tottenham, 40 kilometres south of Otjiwarongo and simply disappeared, a mere three days after he had arrived at the farm from his home in the north.
The Otjozondjupa police confirmed that Shipanga was reported as missing on the morning of 3 April and a search was mounted which yielded no results.
According to his supervisor, Risto Neshuku, on 31 March, he had taken Shipanga and another man to help him with building work at the farm. Neshuku said Shipanga is his brother-in-law and they are all from Onambeke village near Onyaanya. He said that soon after they arrived Shipanga started displaying unusual behaviour and they started suspecting he was not well.
“I am married to Shipanga's sister and I have been working with him for about 30 years now. This was the first time I noticed such behaviour and I suspect that he was not mentally well.
“When we arrived at the farm he started saying things that made no sense. We asked him to go back to the north, but he refused. On the second day it got worse and the plan was to take him back to the north the next day,” Neshuku said.
“On 2 April while we were sleeping he woke up around 02:00 claiming that there was a snake in the room. I calmed him down and he fell asleep again. Later he woke up again and went outside. I went to get him again. At around 05:00 he woke up again and disappeared.”
Neshuku said when they could not find Shipanga they got worried and called the Otjiwarongo police. They mounted a search for him.
According to Otjozondjupa police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Maureen Mbeha, Shipanga was reported missing on the morning of 3 April. He has since not been found.
“It was very difficult for us because there was no photo of him available. We hand to search together with his colleagues, but even though footprints thought to be his were found, he was not,” Mbeha said.
Mbeha said after a few days, the head of operations in the region, Deputy Commissioner Moses Khairabeb requested a police helicopter from Windhoek to help them with the search, but it also found nothing. She said that the search is still on and any person with information regarding Shipanga's whereabouts can contact the Otjiwarongo police.
Shipanga's cousin Ester Iitula told Namibian Sun that the family is concerned saying that Neshuku is not telling them the truth about Shipanga.
“Why are we only hearing now that Shipanga had mental issues? We never observed anything like that and we would like him to tell the truth. Every time we are calling him he is telling us a different version of the story and now he even stopped answering our calls,” Iitula said.
This comes just days after cabinet secretary George Simataa issued Shafudah with a warning for failing to ensure that the tender process for the construction of a bulk fuel storage facility ran according to tender specifications.
Media reports have indicated that Shafudah's failure to attend technical committee meetings exposed the project to currency fluctuations, causing the costs associated to its construction to skyrocket from an initial N$1 billion to N$5 billion.
Expressing shock, Smit said: “The permanent secretaries who have been deemed to have been responsible for the 'negligence' which has seen the costs of the construction of the national fuel storage facility at Walvis Bay rise from N$3.8 billion in 2014 to N$5.5 billion in 2016 have all been issued with 'final written warnings'.
“If negligence and recklessness in the performance of your duties result in the government losing N$1.7 billion and this only leads to a temporary 12-month 'final' warning, then the question becomes, what level of negligence is required to have someone removed from their position?
“Permanent secretaries in other ministries now know that they could negligently or corruptly lose over N$1 billion of the taxpayer's money and only get a slap on the wrist. This is the precedent that has been set,” Smit said.
“It is confounding and completely unacceptable that even when presented with blatant evidence of poor governance, negligence and perhaps even fraud, that same administration sees it fit to dish out mere slaps on the wrists.”
In a letter written to Shafudah informing her of her final written warning, cabinet secretary Simataa said last week: “I have concluded that your conduct into the National Oil Facility project, in particular your failure to attend to meetings of the technical committee, of which you were an integral member, has contributed to the development of a situation detrimental and prejudicial to government.” Attorney-general Sacky Shanghala instructed Simataa to launch an investigation into the tender for the construction of the bulk fuel storage facility after construction costs skyrocketed from an initial N$920 million to over N$5 billion.
Following the conclusion of the investigation, Simataa found that there was an impression that the government would be exposed to currency fluctuations because of Shafudah's inability to attend the technical committee meetings.
“Whereas you have maintained the correct position, namely that the tender currency was Namibia dollars and all-inclusive and that government did not assume any risk for currency fluctuations, your failure to attend the technical committee meetings has enabled others to create the impression that government had in fact assumed the risk for currency fluctuations,” he wrote.
Shafudah's warning will remain valid for a period of 12 months.
Shafudah has still not responded to Namibian Sun's questions as to why she had been unavailable for the technical committee meetings.
A week after a call was made for the Assembly of the Lutheran World Federation (LWF) to publicly apologise for its alleged complicity and continued silence about Swapo's human rights violations in exile before independence, the assembly released a public statement on the issue.
In its 15 May statement, “with respect to the genocide in Namibia”, the LWF said that they “have rejoiced in their journey of liberation and independence. LWF is humbled to be acknowledged for its contributions to this journey through actions of accompaniment, support and solidarity. That accompaniment continues today.”
The Federation admitted that there were “painful events” in Namibia’s history, which it said “clouded the memory of Namibians”. It added that these memories can only go away if they are addressed and hence, they encouraged both the Namibian and German governments to further pursue the dialogue process.
“The LWF has come to understand the uniqueness of this specific process. There are no standard, ready-made solutions to be applied from other similar processes in the world, nor models to be simply transferred and adopted. We are grateful for the role of churches and civil society groups that have promoted and continue supporting processes of reconciliation and healing of memories.”
However, the Federation took no particular stance, passing the buck to the two governments in question and saying that they need to identify and agree on how the history will be told, how justice will be done, and how reconciliation will be promoted.
“As a communion with a passion for justice, peace and reconciliation, the process among Namibians and Germans is at the heart of its vocation.”
Early last week, the two human rights organisations said that the LWF should facilitate and fund a national truth and reconciliation process in Namibia.
NamRights and FFF say there is substantial documentary evidence demonstrating that the LWF was fully informed and aware that the Swapo leadership was involved in war crimes, especially in Angola and Zambia.
Swapo is accused of widespread and systematic planned torture, enforced disappearance, summary executions, prolonged arbitrary detentions and other war crimes against fellow Namibians between 1966 and 1989.
The late Reverend Siegfried Groth and late Reverend Salatiel Ailonga, as well as the Committee of Parents and the Parents Committee of Namibia, are said to have warned LWF's office in Geneva that a “dangerous situation” was unfolding in Swapo in exile and asked it to act before it was too late.
“Yet the LWF failed to act,” the human rights organisations say. “Had they acted, the violations would have stopped or would have occurred to a lesser extent.”
Former Swapo president Sam Nujoma reportedly visited the LWF in Geneva in 1987 to seek humanitarian assistance. There, he denied all allegations of the widespread violations in Swapo camps and claimed it was a smear campaign orchestrated by the apartheid South African regime.
Nujoma then invited the LWF to Angola on a fact-finding mission. The LWF dispatched six people – Dr Ishmael Noko, Reverend Ruth Blazer, Olle Eriksson, Hanne Sophie Greve, Reverend Helmut Jehle, and Bodil Solling – in December 1987 to visit a Swapo refugee settlement in Angola.
NamRights and FFF say the LWF delegation allowed itself “to be taken for a ride” by the Swapo leadership while Swapo-held detainees were languishing in dungeons at Lubango in southern Angola.
“The fact is that President Nujoma had intentionally misinformed the LWF in Geneva about human rights abuses by Swapo in Angola. He also connived to invite and mislead the LWF delegation to Angola. This all had caused the delegation to compile a false report,” said FFF and NamRights.
NamRights and FFF said after the LWF delegation's report, more than 130 Lubango detainees were killed or disappeared between 1987 and 1989, before the return of Namibians from exile.
NamRights executive director Phil Ya Nangoloh said it was a moral issue for the LWF to respond to the appeal.
“They owe the Namibian people an apology; it is not too late. They must repent. But I will not forgive them until they ask for forgiveness. All people make mistakes but better people apologise,” said Ya Nangoloh.
Organisations such as the joint committee of the Committee of Parents and Truth and Justice Committee, as well as individuals, signed an appeal to the LWF Assembly which will be hand-delivered and electronically sent to the Assembly.
During the cross-examination of the now 16-year-old complainant at the Otjiwarongo Regional Court, legal aid lawyer Kenneth Siambango put it to her that the details of the rape in her testimony this week differed from her police statement three years ago.
The difference centres on her testimony yesterday that the accused tried to enter her but was not able to enter because “it did not fit”.
She testified that during the alleged violent and painful encounter, during which he allegedly also strangled her and threatened her with a knife, he eventually gave up and fell asleep next to her.
The defence yesterday however pointed out that in her original police statement in January 2014, the complainant told the police that the accused had “inserted his penis, moved up and down” and ejaculated inside of her.
In the trial of the State versus Natangwe Shishiveni, the accused is facing one charge of rape, which the minor complainant said he committed on the night of 27 January to 28 January, while her legal guardian was working at a hospital in the town.
The complainant, whose name cannot be made public, testified during her evidence-in-chief yesterday that on the evening of 27 January, she accompanied her guardian on her way to work and then returned home where she began to prepare dinner. She testified she was alone in the house.
She told the court that her guardian's two sons, the accused and a brother, lived on the same property but in separate rooms next to the main house she shared with her guardian.
She said that she was woken up on or before midnight by Shishiveni who asked for his food. Shortly afterwards, the complainant alleged that the accused entered her room, naked, and jumped onto her bed, grabbed her throat and began to undress her.
These details correlated to the police statement.
She told Magistrate Marelize du Plessis that all the while she struggled to free herself.
“We wrestled and then he overpowered me.”
While being examined by the prosecutor, Johanna Hamunyela, the complainant testified that the accused tried to penetrate her, but although he pushed “it did not fit”. She said the ordeal was physically and emotionally painful.
She testified that when the accused realised he could not enter her, he lay down next to her and fell asleep.
She said yesterday that his penis did not enter her “totally”.
Siambango argued during cross-examination that the two versions, her court testimony and police statement, differed because she was lying about the incident.
The complainant however responded during cross-examination that her statement had not changed substantially.
“I don't see a change, it's just that little thing that is changed. But then I did not understand it,” she said, referring to the term 'ejaculation'.
She claimed the word was only explained to her during cross-examination yesterday.
Siambongo stated yesterday that his client denied the charges against him.
According to Shishiveni the girl had come home after her curfew the previous night, between 21:00 and 22:00.
The accused, whom the victim referred to as a step-brother, then confronted the teenager and informed her he would tell her guardian about her coming home late.
The complainant confirmed the exchange, and her coming late while on the stand.
But she argued that the idea of “making up a story because I am afraid of being beaten by my guardian” was untrue.
She said she was used to receiving beatings, and although she was worried, she did not lie about the rape.
Siambango argued that the accused's version was that after the exchange he went out and came back later that night and immediately went to his room.
He said his client stated that he had never had any physical contact with the complainant, and that he denied raping her.
On Monday, the doctor who had examined the girl a day after the alleged rape, testified that according to his examination there had been recent penetration.
He testified that that the hymen of the complainant was “broken” and that the “fresh tears” he observed indicated it had been a recent occurrence.
He further testified that apart from the gynaecological exam, her body did not show any recent signs of assault, including bruising, swelling or other marks.
He did not observe marks on her neck, he told the court.
Siambango argued that whether or not the complainant had intercourse, forced or with consent, it was not with the accused person.
Du Plessis, yesterday remanded the case to 13 June, in order for the police to locate a crucial witness to testify in the matter, who was subpoenaed in April but did not appear at court this week.
This witness, whose name remains unknown to Namibian Sun, could shed light on the events in the early morning hours of 28 January after the girl testified that he came home, and had found the accused in her room sleeping.
Shishiveni's bail was extended.
The standoff, mainly between the Ondonga leaders and royal family, has led to mounting tension and calls have been made for the powers that be, including government, to intervene to help end the impasse.
There is a chain of nasty messages being circulated all over social media regarding the affairs of the traditional authority, and the purported unbecoming behaviour of some.
Yesterday, Chief Immanuel /Gâseb, deputy chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Namibia, said the Ondonga leadership crisis had halted the council's operations.
/Gâseb has played a leading role within the council due to the poor health of Ondonga King Immanuel Kauluma Elifas, who is the chairperson of the Council of Traditional Leaders.
/Gâseb told Namibian Sun yesterday that he was advised by urban and rural development minister Sophia Shaningwa not to travel to the North to consult Elifas because of the infighting within the traditional authority.
“Every year during the early months I travel to Onamungundo to consult King Elifas. I always brief him on the council's operations of the past year and consult him on the planned activities of that year together with his council.
“This year's consultation was scheduled for last month, but I was advised by minister Shaningwa not to go ahead with it because of the leadership crisis in Ondonga,”
“Even if I go there now it will be for no use. Kauluma (suspended OTA chairperson) and Asino (suspended OTA secretary) are not there and they are the ones with whom I used to consult the king because they have better understanding of the traditional authority affairs.
“I understand that former President Sam Nujoma's bodyguard Nepando Amupanda is now the acting OTA secretary, but I doubt if he has any knowledge of the traditional authority.”
Approached for comment, Shaningwa said she had not been informed officially about the leadership crisis in Ondonga. She added that the Ondonga Traditional Authority knew what channels to follow in informing her.
“I cannot comment now until I am informed officially. Both those reported suspended and those reported to have taken over the OTA have not informed me of anything yet,” Shaningwa said.
In contrast, the suspended Joseph Asino disputed Shaningwa's assertion, saying she had been informed of the leadership impasse in Ondonga by Uukwambi chief Herman Iipumbu in his capacity as the deputy chairperson of the eight traditional authorities in the North.
All efforts to get hold of Iipumbu failed.
Battle to be king
The Ondonga Traditional Authority has been plunged into a leadership crisis following the suspension of senior leaders, including its long-serving chairperson Peter Kauluma and spokesperson Joseph Asino.
Influential senior and ordinary councillors from Ondonga, including John Walenga, Vilho Kamanya, Kashona kaMalulu, Joseph Akawa, Tonata Ngulu and Fillemon Nambili have also been suspended. The suspended councillors are backing Fillemon Shuumbwa as successor to Elifas, but their move has been strongly opposed by the royal family led by the king's wife, Sesilia Elifas.
The rival faction supporting Shuumbwa has accused the king's wife of making decisions on behalf of the ailing king. She has also been accused of sowing division in the kingdom. At the weekend, a community meeting headed by Walenga reportedly ordered the king's wife to leave the palace within 30 days.
Recently Walenga's urgent court application to have the king mentally evaluated to see whether he was still of sound mind and fit to discharge the Ondonga kingdom's traditional responsibilities, failed in the Windhoek High Court.